New Jersey Church of God Celebrates 100 Years

The Church of God in New Jersey recently celebrated 100 years of ministry in the Garden State with a “Mighty Exploits Centennial Celebration” held between June 22-27.

State Overseer Raymond Burch coordinated the events which began with a 3-day virtual event June 22-24 each night at 7:30 on Facebook and YouTube. An in-person event was held on June 25 at the Newark Haitian Church of God, followed by a culminating celebration this past Sunday, June 27 at the Patriots Theater in Trenton. Speakers for the nightly services included Evangelist Jonathon Ziegler, Director of Ministerial Development for the Church of God Michael Reynolds, and assistant general overseers J. David Stephens and Raymond Culpepper. Church of God General Overseer Tim Hill was the keynote speaker for the June 27 service.

The original building of the first Church of God in New Jersey still stands (click photo to enlarge)

The Church of God in New Jersey compiled a commemorative book profiling congregations in the state, greetings from church leaders, and a history that included the planting of a congregation in the community of Woodbury led by the first state overseer, T.S. Payne. Although no longer an active congregation, the New Jersey State Council recently visited the site of the church, which still stands today. A page in the commemorative book shows an entry in the Minutes of the 1921 Church of God General Assembly noting the Woodbury congregation. An excerpt from “Like A Mighty Army: A History of the Church of God” mentions the 1938 organization of the Church of God in Millville (now Lighthouse church), by Amy Martha Hanley who led the church as its pastor to become the strongest church in the state at the time.

While not part of the celebration, New Jersey relocated state offices last year, moving into an industrial park in Holmdel. State Overseer Burch gave a tour to General Overseer Hill sharing the blessing of being able to make the transition last September despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As we look back over the years, we must take pause and be thankful to the Lord who has blessed us with his presence, year in and year out,” Burch stated. “Little did those early pioneers realize what would take place, but I’m sure they dreamed a bit about the possibilities of having 57 churches and over 5,000 members! As we advance into the future with anticipation for what the Lord is going to do in the years to come, our prayer is that we will go into all the world and demonstrate. You shall do mighty exploits in His name!

General Overseer Tim Hill addresses the congregation gathered for the New Jersey centennial celebration on June 27, 2021 in Trenton (click photo to enlarge)

General Overseer Hill stated, “Reaching this milestone is a testament to the dedication of the members today and the faithfulness of previous generations. New Jersey’s impact on the souls of countless men and women on eternity is immeasurable. Bishop Raymond and Lorna Burch are to be commended on their leadership of this anointed region. As the Lord tarries, may this first century be a launching pad toward greater accomplishments for the Kingdom in the decades to come.”

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